Haunted Shack

Opened: 9 Apr 1966
Closed: Pre-1980
Location: Central Midway

Photo used in an ad for the Deseret News Birthday Party in 1966. Photo courtesy of Deseret News

Over the years, Lagoon has had many different haunted attractions, but only a few walk-through attractions. The Haunted Shack was both. It was located where the Carousel Plaza food stands are today with the front of the Shack facing south.

Haunted Shack in July 1967 with Bulgy in the foreground. Photo courtesy of Special Collections and Archives, Utah State University

Most of the information I have about this attraction is pulled from the memories of those who were lucky enough to enjoy it. Here, I’ve pieced together a description of this walk-through based on the more commonly shared details and memories.

You’d start by carefully climbing the stairs (which shifted up and down in opposite directions) to reach the second floor. Once you reached the top, you would proceed through narrow hallways with windows you could look into and see various “spooky” scenes. An employee would randomly wander through trying to surprise unsuspecting guests.

Skeleton pianist on the top floor. Photo courtesy of Deseret News

Next, you’d find your way out front where a skeleton played a piano. Back inside, after traveling down more halls, you could return to the first floor by riding down a very slick steel spiral slide or by taking a regular staircase. Next was the hall of mirrors which ended near a large imitation of one of those cymbal-banging monkey toys.

The hall of mirrors may have been moved to the ground floor after a few years of being in an upper floor. At least it appears in the 1969 BYU film below as though the hall of mirrors is on the second floor.

A former employee who contacted me via email shared this memory of an “attic” area accessed by operators of the attraction.

“I worked Lagoon during the summer of 1969, and on breaks would often wander down there where one of my buddies would take me up into the rafters where we could watch the patrons from above.”

Second floor of the attraction as seen from the front of the building. This was before the gorilla was added. Photo courtesy of Deseret News

Another visitor recalls…

“I remember a dark hallway that had about 6-inch pieces of rubber surgical tubing sticking out of the wall at about ankle height – it would brush against your ankles as you walked through the hallway creating kind of an eerie feeling.”

Haunted Shack in 1973. Photo: Laura Moncur, Starling-Travel.com
Photo: Braden Miskin
“King Kong” in Terroride, 2007. Photo: B. Miskin

The large gorilla which leaned over crowds from the top floor was added some time after it opened. It would later be used in Terroride and in Frightmares walk-throughs before taking its current place inside Dracula’s Castle. It’s also possible that the smaller monkey with the cymbals near the exit of the Haunted Shack was once part of the eight-piece monkey band which played on a ledge above the Fun House entrance starting in 1957, but that has not been confirmed.

By 1980 or sooner, the Haunted Shack was closed. The upper floors were removed and the ground level was converted into the Penny Arcade. The building was replaced by the Carousel Plaza food outlet in 1981.

The Haunted Shack occupied the right side of the building in the center of this photo. This view from early 1980 shows that the Haunted Shack was replaced by the Penny Arcade. Photo courtesy of Deseret News
Detail from 1966 newspaper ad.

Many Features Mark New Lagoon Fun House. Deseret News, 4 May 1957.

2nd Entry In Lagoon Contest. Deseret News, 24 May 1966.

Moncur, Laura. Lagoon: Hall of Mirrors (Part 2 of 2). Pick Me!, 9 Aug 2004.

RE: Haunted Shack. Email message from Stephen A., 19 Dec 2004.

RE: Haunted Shack – Lagoon. Email message from George A., 19 Mar 2005.

RE: Haunted Shack. Email message from Robert J., 22 Jun 2006.

RE: LHP Contact: Haunted Shack. Email message from Christopher D., 2 Oct 2010.

LHP Contact: Haunted Shack. Email message from Gary M., 17 Oct 2010.


15 replies on “Haunted Shack”

I remember walking down the hallway and small rubber hoses would blast pressurized air at your feet and ankles giving a very eerie feeling!

I remember looking up at the slides, so high that I was afraid to try it. The only other things I remember was the air shots and mirrors. I was 7 in 57.

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